05 December 2003
This year in Kenya, the International Volunteer Day was celebrated with the theme "Heightening Awareness on Volunteerism and Volunteer Effort".
In view of the recent demise of Sharon Capeling-Alakija, the Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteers (UNV), the celebrations by purpose, were more reflective focussing on thoughts on how best to pay tribute to her as one of the best champions of volunteerism. In her honour, Paul Andre de la Porte, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator planted a tree on the UN complex.
De la Porte, Adama Zampalegre, UNDP Deputy Resident Represenative Operations and Charles Makunja UNV Programme Officer, then proceeded to read the statements of UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP Administrator and Ad de Raad UNV Executive Coordinator, a.i..
Tom Nitta, Deputy Resident Representative of the Japanese International Cooperation (JICA), read a joint statement of volunteer sending agencies, while two volunteers one from Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) and from Volunteer Services Overseas (VSO) shared their experiences. In all the statements, the message was clear: "volunteerism is a spark in one’s heart that eventually has a profound effect on the lives of many".
Launching the post-International Year of Volunteers (IYV) 2001 Campaign Team
To coordinate and harness volunteerism in Kenya, particularly to achieve the objectives of IYV 2001, this year’s IVD celebration also saw the launching of the post-IYV 2001 Campaign Team. The team is lead by UNV Kenya and includes VSO, American Peace Corps, JOCV, the Ufadhili Centre of Philanthropy and Social Responsibility and the Ministry of Gender Sports and Culture to coordinate and promote volunteerism, volunteer capital and the ideals of IYV 2001 in Kenya.
Activities in the District
Trade fair/Community Exhibition
A trade fair/community exhibition was organized in Kilifi District led by UNV to assist community-led approaches in fighting poverty and hunger. This was also used as a forum to transfer technology, share knowledge and market local products. The exhibit attracted 100 exhibitors and over 300 participants, with over 50 different types of products and technologies. This was also the opportunity to provide professional advice in the areas of marketing, packaging, fundraising, business management and entrepreneurship.
Award and recognition ceremony
Community groups and individulas who significantly contributed to volunteerism in their area were awarded with certificates of recognition. This has now become practice in the Kifili district to promote volunteerism to alleviate poverty.